`Kumble allegations are false, Patel was never a part of FGI`

PTI| Updated: Nov 23, 2013, 22:42 PM IST

Bangalore: Former Karnataka Ranji player and Frontiers Group India (FGI) Director Carlton Saldanha today refuted KSCA President Anil Kumble`s allegations and clarified that former secretary Brijesh Patel was never a part of the Sporting Frontiers.

"Patel was never a part of the Sporting Frontiers as has been alleged by Kumble and we have documentation to prove the same. Further we confirm that no impropriety was attached with the manner in which we were engaged by the KSCA," he said.

Saldanha said FGI was hired unanimously by the KSCA and the commercial value received was approved by the then incumbent managing Committee of the KSCA.

"It was a combination of a flat fee and a commission on sponsorship that Frontiers were contracted for by the KSCA," he said.

"KSCA was totally aware of the value that this league would generate. In fact the value of the fee to FGI, would drastically diminish in years 3, 4 and 5. However the league`s momentum was arrested in the second year," he added.

Saldanha said the franchisees, prior to the auction in a 24 potential franchisee meet organised by the KSCA, were made to understand that the KPL was not solely about generating money, as a team owned franchise, but to be utilised as a vehicle to promote cricket and cricketers in the districts.

The KPL gathered enough momentum for three other state associations to encourage FGI to start such leagues in their respective states, he added.

Saldanha said the CEO of Sporting Frontiers (Australia) Neil Maxwell, who had a vision of consolidating the in-stadia advertising rights in India, made an offer to the KSCA, double the current market rate at that time, with an assurance of paying it the entire rights fee 30 days prior to the commencement of the game.

"This was an unprecedented offer made to a cricket association during that tenure. Frontiers went on to sign legally binding long-term contracts with 13 other state cricket associations in India," he said.

KPL was an innovative concept designed to encourage and provide local talent with a platform to showcase their cricketing skills and promote the game in Karnataka, Saldanha said.

"FGI has held the exclusive in-stadia advertising rights for over 60 per cent of the cricket grounds in India, since 2000 for all bilateral international cricket matches under the aegis of BCCI and has been successfully involved in over 130 international cricket matches - Test, ODIs and T20s," he added.

Frontiers Group conceptualised and organised India`s first-ever international 20-20 cricket tournament in conjunction with sponsors, Unibic India and the Karnataka State Cricket Association in Bangalore, Saldanha said.

"This pioneering effort was held in Bangalore in the year 2004. Players from all over the world participated in this tournament to give it a truly international flavor," he said.

"Australia was represented by New South Wales and India had four of its top domestic teams participating therein. A World XI team comprising of players of the caliber of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Mohammed Sami, Shoiab Malik, Salman Butt, Adam Hollioake, Kaluwitharana, Javagal Srinath, Kamran Akmal and Russel Arnold were seen in action," Saldanha said.

In a follow up to this, FGI conceptualised, executed and managed the first-ever Karnataka Premier League (KPL).

Saldanha said Patel`s team has undergone anxiety, distress, humiliation and embarrassment by Kumble`s unwarranted and untrue remarks.

"We reserve the right to proceed against him and others jointly culpable for the dastardly aspersions cast against us by him or them," he said.